The Yin and Yang of Moving for the Military

Published: October 25, 2022

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Michelle! I grew up as an Air Force brat who hated moving. Later in life, I became an Army spouse for way longer than anticipated (emphasis on Army, not spouse — I love my husband dearly). Today, I’m also an Army mom. You could say I know a little about this military lifestyle.  

Most people know about the four consistent seasons of the year: spring, summer, fall, and winter. But have you heard about the fifth and very inconsistent season? It’s called PCS season, or Permanent Change of Station for those who don’t speak military. A few months ago, my husband received orders, and we were given five weeks to complete move number 18. Woohoo! (That was sarcasm there.)  

Did you know that moving ranks as one of the top ten most stressful life events? You would think that after all these years and all of these moves, I’d be a pro at this. But I’m not! The technicalities of moving never get easier; I think I’m just used to the chaos now. 

As much as I hated moving as a kid, I learned early in my marriage that I would get the itch to see someplace new after the three-year mark at any duty station. If we weren’t planning to move at that point, I’d start rearranging the furniture. Something in my brain starts telling me, “It’s time to go!” Funny how life works like that. 

Call me crazy, but I’ve found that a move can be positive rather than a source of stress or possible divorce (kidding!). Think of all the new places, new people, and things we see as military families. I have lived in or visited four of the seven continents in the world! I’ve met people from all walks of life and seen things many people can only dream about.  

Moving allows us to have the chance to grow and learn more about ourselves while seeing the world and trying new things. With each move, I’ve had the opportunity to reinvent myself; professionally, socially, and personally. 

Now that I’m “settled” in my new home, I can’t wait to explore and figure out what my neighborhood has to offer. But before I do that, I’ve got to stop procrastinating and organize.

Even though this was my 18th move, this is just the beginning of our journey together. Stay tuned for more stories, tricks, and tips from a “veteran” military spouse. 

Musings From A Military Spouse 

Michelle is no stranger to military life. She grew up as an Air Force brat, has been an Army spouse for 35 years, and is now an Army mother. Although life in the military is always changing, she knows that family is steadfast and home isn’t a place – it’s who you’re with. Michelle has learned a thing or two about military life, and she hopes you’ll join her as she shares her lifelong experiences each month in “Musings from a Military Spouse.”

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